Winning cures all ills, this young ballclub needed this win in so many important ways.
When you're a young ball club under a new head coach, building confidence is a major necessity.
When you have a struggling quarterback its Lane Kiffin's job to find ways for him to have needed success. Mission accomplished.
Jonathan Crompton looked like a different player and a different person Saturday against Georgia. He oozed confidence in this week's game. Prior to this week he appeared to be allergic to confidence.
His timing was so much better with his wide receivers. Everything clicked, giving Volunteer fans and SEC opponents an early look at how good this team can actually be if everything works.
The chemistry was so good between the quarterback and receivers, several fans joked and asked if Peyton Manning and his receivers came down from Nashville where they were in town to play the Titans and filled in for Crompton and the wide outs.
Kiffin has said all along that Crompton was his quarterback and he was sticking with him even through the hard times. He saw something in this young man no one else did. That's easy to understand. Crompton has reputation of practicing great and not performing well under pressure. Kiffin and staff figured out a way to bring out the best in Crompton.
They rolled him out, they sped him up a little which worked because he didn't have time to think about messing up.
He threw the ball in front of his receivers instead of behind them like last week. It was so bad against Auburn; Crompton hit Quinton Hancock in the helmet, that's how bad the timing was.
This past week he hit Quinton in the hands, he and Gerald Jones hooked up several times, nothing more impressive than the 54 yard touchdown strike. We finally have a deep threat and it worked.
This team showed Saturday that when they play together, when they come together focused they can beat anyone and beat them bad. They looked like the second best team in the SEC East Division.
Headed into the Georgia game, this team was fighting for their lives, especially their post season lives. A loss would make things rough on making a bowl game. Heading into the second half of their season 3-3 is so much better than 2-4 and here is why.
With Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Memphis on your schedule in the month of November, these are three teams that Tennessee has had a lot of success with over the years. Although Kentucky is much improved, can the Wildcats matchup athletically with the Vols? We will find out on my birthday. All I want for a birthday present is a win over Kentucky and hopefully a bowl game to cover.
After the Georgia game and performance, this young team gained a lot of confidence, now UT goes into a much needed off week on a winning note, another huge confidence builder.
They now have two weeks to prepare for Alabama, perhaps the best team in the conference and if not at least the second best. It's a huge advantage to go into that game with momentum from the Georgia win.
Now instead of being on life support on whether they could make a bowl game, the Volunteers will finish off the month of October at Alabama and at home against South Carolina. Did I mention Georgia defeated South Carolina 41-37?
After watching Alabama beat Ole Miss this past Saturday, the Rebels appear to be more beatable than first thought. A 4-0 run in November would be just what the doctor ordered.
This team is getting better.They haven't quit on this coaching staff.
Kiffin promised to reenergize this fan base and this program.
Saturday's win against Georgia went along ways in doing so.